Back in 2012 Dr. Michael Heiser wrote a short response piece to Jonathan Cahn’s inept handling of Scripture known as The Harbinger. He ended with this line:
“A Christian enthralled by this twaddle deserves the label of biblical illiterate.”
After ‘The Shemitah Mystery’ was published, he hasn’t changed his mind.
Before discussing either Cahn’s fruit or its’ implications, we should take a look in the mirror and question our own Biblical literacy and spiritual discernment, test our understanding of Scripture especially regarding Biblical authority and end times prophecy and hence strengthen our ability to discern which prophetic voices or church leadership to follow.
God claimed for Himself the exclusive right to and judgment of men’s minds and therefore, the right to delegate the authority to judge and to influence opinions to whomever He chose. In the Great Commission, Christ made it clear that while he denied Caesar (the State) any authority to teach, He commanded His church to assume that task:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . . ..” This command to the church was not limited to “religious subjects” such as salvation, but included all things whatsoever – history, science, law, all knowledge. For Paul has reminded us in Colossians that in Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col. 2:3.
Which teachers, watchmen and prophetic voices we are to follow, is both an individual as well as a collective church responsibility. The fruit of their work should always be weighed using spiritual discernment and tested against the Word as ultimate authority.
As an international prophetic voice, Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger – nr #1 Christian book of 2012 – set publishing records, reached publishing milestones and propelled the author to a very high-profile position on the national and even international stage. Upon closer examination however, The Harbinger appeared to be riddled with biblical errors, theological flaws and historical misrepresentations.
Jonathan Cahn’s third book, The Mystery of the Shemitah was put to the same scrutiny for reasons of his consistent massive public influence well beyond Christian circles.
Several authors and researchers, such as David James have carefully and critically judged the fruit of Jonathan Cahn.
Another balanced view comes from Dr Jim Eckman, stating that The Harbinger is a book “with the correct message (calling America to repentance) but with a faulty and potentially dangerous exegesis of Scripture?”
“The Harbinger has a legitimate message—America needs to repent. It is a nation that God will hold accountable for the pervasive nature of sin in this country. But, that is the message of the Gospel itself. Humans are sinners; Jesus came to die for that sin; we appropriate that finished work of Jesus Christ by faith. The simple Gospel message is missing in The Harbinger—and that is a glaring omission, for it is the key to America’s repentance—not heeding an obscure mystery found in Isaiah 9:10 that has nothing to do with America.”
Below, an illustrative essay entitled: ‘The Watchmen, 9/11 and The Harbingers’ by Sue Bradley (died on April 9th 2013) out of which Pastor David Wilkerson’s vision is distilled.
During the message delivered on October 11, 2001, one month after the events of 9/11, and with a nation bearing a glimmer of repentance, Pastor David Wilkerson stated:
“Right now, I believe God is speaking a warning to New York City and I wrestled with His severe word as I prepared this message and I prayed, Lord, is this really going to happen? Again and again I heard this still small voice, “Preach it and warn the people. Those who want the truth will receive it.”
“Saint, This warning is not meant to scare you. It’s meant only for you to take to the Lord and pray. This is what I believe the Lord has shown me. Thirty days of chastisement will fall on New York City such as the world has never seen. God’s going to let down the walls. Unimaginable violence, looting, a thousand fires will be burning at the same time throughout the city and it’s boroughs. Times Square will be ablaze and the flames that ascend into the heaven will be seen for miles. Fire trucks will not be able to handle it all.
Trains and buses will be shut down. Billions of dollars will be lost. Broadway shows will stop completely. It will cause businesses to flee the city in an unstoppable hemorrhage. The violence will be ferocious. It will shock the whole world. Our streets will be lined not just with National Guard but the militia. The Los Angeles fires were confined to a few sections of their city but New York will be ablaze and its boroughs. Such things are expected in Third World countries but not in a civilized nation like the United States. Yet in not too long a time afterward New York City will go bankrupt. The city’s Queen city will be cast into the dirt. A city of poverty.
You ask, when will all this happen? All I can say is I believe I will be here when it happens. When it happens, no matter where we are, in your apartment or on the job, God’s people are not to panic or fear.”
On March 7, 2009, Pastor David Wilkerson once more put forth an urgent message: one of warning, preparation:
I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world.
AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE – EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US.
For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole mega-plex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.
WHAT SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS DO? WHAT ABOUT GOD’S PEOPLE? F irst, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. If possible lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.
As for our spiritual reaction, we have but two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We “flee like a bird to a mountain.” Or, as David says, “He fixed his eyes on the Lord on his throne in heaven—his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men” (v. 4). “In the Lord I take refuge” (v. 1).
I will say to my soul: No need to run…no need to hide. This is God’s righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take—trusting that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds.”
Sue concluded her essay this way:
“May God bless and cover the many and mighty watchmen of this nation.” AMEN!